Zandaam, (Holland) by Jason Berger

  • Title: Zandaam, (Holland)
  • Artist: Jason Berger
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Size: 31"h x 38"w
  • Creation date: 1987
  • Donor: Gift of the artist
  • Campus: Rock Creek
  • Location: B3/2 Hallway outside rm 201
This work by Jason Berger (1924-2010) was painted in 1987 on site in Zandaam, Holland.  A houseboat lies moored along the tree-lined edges of a canal with buildings in the distance under a pink sky.  Up close the gestural brushwork suggests a large drawing or watercolor hastily set down in gooey blobs and sloppy washes as if the artist were working as rapidly as possible to capture a fleeting vision.  Yet stepping farther back, the scene presents itself clearly and directly as a unified whole. Such seeming spontaneity was the product of numerous preliminary sketches and warm-up studies, and beneath the apparent cavalier execution lies an elegant and refined visual sensibility.  Berger possessed a developed sense of pictorial structure (influenced by cubism more than impressionism) combined with a playful, often joyous, sense of improvisation.  Working at the same time as the Abstract Expressionists, he frequently employed abstraction in his work, yet remained tethered to the visible world.